Nearly 40 persons attended the LEVITATE webinar focusing on freight, which took place on 31 January 2022. Two freight case studies presented by researchers from LEVITATE partner, the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), were complemented by a contribution from the logistics platform ALICE, with which LEVITATE is cooperating in terms of sharing knowledge and dissemination activities.
The first of the LEVITATE freight case studies, presented by Bin Hu of AIT, covered an automated parcels delivery system in urban areas, for which the city of Vienna provided the test area. The main conclusions suggest that:
Electric vehicles will reduce the (local) emissions, but not the mileage
Consolidation reduces both, but is difficult to implement
Automation facilitates consolidation and reduces operating costs
The second freight case study addressed the impacts of truck platooning on urban bridges and was introduced by Marian Ralbovsky, AIT. The following conclusions were reached:
Truck platooning can significantly impact urban highway bridges
Effects depend on traffic composition (portion of trucks in traffic)
Mostly only bridges with large spans (river crossings) are expected to be affected
Intelligent access control can ensure bridge safety under platooned traffic
The final presentation was given by Fernando Liesa, Secretary General of Alice, which is a European Technology Platform bringing together stakeholders from the logistics sector. Fernando shared some of the main findings from projects and members activities that are relevant to CCAM. Among the useful insights provided are:
According to a survey by the Award project on incentives to use automated trucks, the most popular answer was ‘improve vehicle utilisation’
The shortage of truck drivers is a problem that CCAM may be able to help address
The ‘freight case studies webinar’ webinar recording can be found on this web page and directly on YouTube »
Will freight transport and logistics become safer, more effective or integrated as a result of automated technologies on the market? Find out by watching the first LEVITATE webinar!
The first LEVITATE webinar on 23 April was framed around the opportunities and challenges that freight transport is facing as a result of innovations in automated technologies. Looking at the current situation we are living in, discussions were also focused around the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the sector. Furthermore, expected changes in the implementation and operation of freight and logistics systems in the post-COVID times were on the table.
The webinar was kicked off by Pete Thomas, project coordinator of LEVITATE, who gave a brief introduction about the project. It was followed by a LEVITATE-focused presentation from Bin Hu, Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology, who is leading the freight-related use case in the project. He presented about the impact of automation on urban parcel delivery through the results of micro-simulations and operations research carried out in the framework of the project.
Thanks to Fernando Liesa, Secretary General of ALICE (Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe), attendees learnt about the work of ALICE and how they help European logistical companies to keep up with developments and new strategies through collaboration and knowledge-sharing. The main research question which has been answered was how automation can help freight transport and logistics to reach zero-emission targets by 2050 and become more integrated on a European level. Fernando also pointed out some new challenges in the face of COVID-19 in relation to protecting vehicle drivers and riders during the pandemic by using automated technologies.
Last but not at least, Kris Neyens, Manager at VIL (Flemish Innovation Cluster for Logistics) presented one of their own projects after introducing their multidisciplinary collaboration in the Flemish freight sector. In project ALEES (self-driving logistical electric units for urban environments), VIL is testing autonomous urban logistical entities to distribute parcels throughout dense urban areas, for example through a demonstration in Mechelen to develop the software behind the technology and create the legislative environment for future operation. If you are curious about the previously mentioned project, you can read more here or we welcome you to watch the presentation during the recorded webinar below.